Epiphany -- Ecumenical Sunday
A Call to Unity
Service Prayers for the
Third Sunday after Epiphany
as “Ecumenical Sunday” in the UCC and elsewhere
Isaiah 9: 1-4 ~ Psalm 27:
~ 1 Corinthians 1: 10-18 ~ Matthew 4: 12-23
God’s desire for our unity springs from
God’s desire for holy relationships among Christians, between Christians and
those of other faiths (or no faith) and between Christians and God. Whether or
not we choose to celebrate Ecumenical Sunday, let us take a moment to give
thanks for all the ways God calls us to be One in Christ.
Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 27)
is our light and our salvation; whom shall we fear?
People: God is our shelter and refuge on the
days of trouble,
and our hope and joy on
the days of celebration!
we seek God’s face and the assurance of God’s holy love:
People: O God, do not turn from us or hide
your face from us!
Be our guide and our light
thing we ask of God:
People: That we may live in God’s dwelling
all the days of our life, and never cease
the beauty of God’s home.
of God, enter this worship in thanksgiving,
God is among and within us!
be to God!
Into the shadows of our isolation
you speak words of life and community.
Challenger of our lives,
you call us from places we call home
to lead us more deeply into the world
With your gentle, healing touch
you redeem the broken places of our
and you heal the wounded places of the
Inspire our worship here this day,
so that we may receive liberation in
and be filled to overflowing
to share your reconciling love
throughout the earth.
We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer of Confession
God, in Christ you call us to unity of mind and purpose,
we confess that our hearts are often turned
separation and division.
quarrel; we encourage rivalries;
tear down our brothers and sisters in faith.
us to remember that all have been baptized as one body
Christ’s death and resurrection.
us to hold fast to those promises
draw us together in the Spirit,
that we may proclaim the power
Christ’s life and ministry with one voice.
Assurance of Pardon
the good news: there is no place, not even in our hearts,
the love of God cannot penetrate.
is around and among us, healing, restoring
calling us to new life as one body, united in Christ.
be to God
the gift of forgiveness and the promise of peaceful unity!
Passing the Peace
In the spirit of peace and the hope of
let us offer each other a sign of
Call to Offering
With a clear voice, Jesus calls us to
accept the costs and joys of discipleship,
and the challenges of living in peaceful
with those who are different from one
As we make our offering at this altar,
let us remember that we give and work
on behalf of Christ’s whole and
undivided body on earth,
and let us celebrate the gift of unity
that is ours
through the Spirit and our generous
to you we dedicate these gifts this day.
this act of giving inspire other ways that
we may "fish for" your
out those who need your nourishing spirit.
we pray that you will multiply them
the gifts of all your faithful people
loaves and fishes,
your love may be revealed on earth as it is in heaven.
now in peace,
for Christ has called you to live in
among your brothers and sisters in
now in courage,
for Christ has called you from the
places of your life
to be agents of redemption
and partners in healing.
Go now in joy and thanksgiving,
for Christ is our light!
Go now as one body,
to love and serve God as you love and
serve the world!
A Call to Unity:
Service Prayers for the Third Sunday after Epiphany was written by the Rev.
Elizabeth Dilley, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Red
Copyright 2011 Local Church Ministries,
Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church
700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this
material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.